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Fordham GSE Names Jaylene Marie Ynfante 2021 Zoller Scholarship Recipient


The Fordham Graduate School of Education (GSE) is proud to announce that Jaylene Marie Ynfante has been named this year’s recipient of the Joseph C. Zoller Memorial Scholarship. She was presented with the award at a reception following the 16th Annual Joseph C. Zoller Memorial Fund Golf Classic. Nominated by GSE faculty, she was selected for this honor from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

“As a first-generation college graduate, I was raised in the Bronx by immigrant parents who worked so hard for all I have today,” said Jaylene. “I want to inspire students of all backgrounds to have the confidence to pursue their dreams.”

Jaylene is enrolled in Fordham University’s 5th Year Integrated Education Track as an incoming student in the Masters in Teaching program for Adolescence English Grades 7 – 12. She received her B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Fordham University Rose Hill on May 22, 2021. She has been an active volunteer since her sophomore year in high school, and currently focuses her efforts on working with inner-city youth. Since 2017 Jaylene has volunteered as a teacher’s assistant at P.S. 218 in the Bronx, tutored high school students for the SAT through Let’s Get Ready, and supported middle school students virtually at Bronx Lacrosse Academy during the pandemic.

On wanting to pursue a career as a teacher, Jaylene expressed, “I intend to use my degree to serve my community and share my experience with other first-generation students. I believe that seeing a person from my background will motivate students and set an example of how they too can become successful in any field they pursue.”

The endowed scholarship fund was set up by Richard and Judith Zoller in memory of their son, Joseph C. Zoller, CBA ’87, who died prematurely and tragically in 2004 at the age of 39. The fund’s purpose is to ensure that continued financial assistance is provided to deserving students pursuing a Fordham graduate degree in education. Sadly, Judith and Richard passed away in 2019 and 2020, respectively. This year’s reception was also a wonderful opportunity to honor them and their commitment to growing this scholarship fund.

The golf classic and reception, organized by Joseph’s brother Rich Zoller, Jr., FCRH ‘85 and Board Chair, supports the Zoller Memorial Fund and honors the life and legacy of Joseph C. Zoller.

GSE congratulates Jaylene and is grateful to Rich Zoller, Jr., the Zoller Memorial Fund Board members, and all the supporters of the Joseph C. Zoller Memorial Scholarship fund dedicated to maintaining the legacy of Joseph, Richard, and Judith. The Zoller family’s devotion to the foundation and its commitment to furthering education will live on through this enduring scholarship for students at Fordham’s GSE, continuing to inspire teachers of tomorrow.

For those who might be interested in setting up a scholarship, please contact Molly Sullivan, Director of Development, Fordham University Professional Schools, at (212) 636-7575; or email

Pictured from left to right are Zoller Memorial Fund Board members with the 2021 scholarship recipient: Naomi Verdirame; Gregory Haufe, FCLC ’11; Jaylene Ynfante; Keith Cussmano; Rich Zoller, Jr. FCRH ’85, Chair; Betty Lyons; Molly Sullivan; and José Luis Alvarado, Ph.D., GSE dean. 


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